By / June 12, 2020

Croatian project to build ships using hemp as a material

A project by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb, Croatia, will soon make it possible to have ships built with hemp.

This development is based on bio-construction, a trend in modern architecture that uses organic materials for the construction sector, which are environmentally friendly.

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Hemp as a material to build innovative boats

It is worth noting that this trend is not new. The use of hemp dates back to the early 2000s, when three major companies in the construction sector in Europe developed systems using hemp for building ships and residences.

Hemp is lightweight, strong, and thermally insulating, providing profitable utilities for construction companies and comfort for the occupants of buildings built with hemp.

Such comfort is associated with the strength of hemp, energy savings and the comfort that comes from staying in a cool environment in the summer and warm in the winter. These properties were used by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering for its project.

The educational institute aims to create a hemp ecoboat that will be at the forefront of bioconstruction of ships, based on a design awarded in a European Union call.

Hemp as a suitable construction material

In addition, Marservis, a Croatian shipbuilding company, will be involved in the process of building the ship. According to expectations, the boat will have a capacity of 150 people and is expected to be used by the ecotourism sector.

It is worth mentioning that the use of hemp in the manufacture of ships is not new since it was formerly used with a mixture of hemp, lime, and wood to give greater strength to the structure.

Now, however, hemp will be integrated into solid construction materials, a process similar to what has occurred in the textile, food, paper and biofuel industries.

The many uses and advantages of hemp

Unlike other plants, hemp does not take up much planting space. In addition, it is a relatively small plant that produces a high yield. It is also an excellent source of oxygen and can reach full maturity in just three to four months.

In addition, hemp chipboard is twice as strong as wood chipboard and holds nails better.

With regard to the strength of hemp, strength tests suggest that any material made from wood or plastic could be made from hemp, which would give rise to biodegradable materials.

It should even be noted that houses built with hemp do not differ aesthetically in any way from those built with bricks. They are made from compressed hemp blocks, which are also a great help against climate change.

Houses made of hemp are the new trend

A publication of The New York Times reported that, since 2010, there are houses built with hemp. According to the aforementioned media, the first residence was built in North Carolina, United States.

It is worth mentioning that building a house with hemp in the United States requires a special permit, depending on the county and state. Despite this, in the neighboring country, there are more than 50 houses built with hemp, according to the newspaper.

This construction trend is also present in France, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Nepal, Israel and Spain.


(Featured image by Lukas via Pexels)

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